Summary: David was piled with problems. He was on the run. He was alone and discouraged. This was his personal “ground zero.” He’s been where some of you are today. Let’s listen in as he longs for the Lord in the midst of his troubles.
Longing for the Lord
Text: Psalm 42:1-11; 1AS THE hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God.2My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? 3My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, where is your God? 4These things I [earnestly] remember and pour myself out within me: how I went slowly before the throng and led them in procession to the house of God [like a bandmaster before his band, timing the steps to the sound of music and the chant of song], with the voice of shouting and praise, a throng keeping festival. 5Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God.6O my God, my life is cast down upon me [and I find the burden more than I can bear]; therefore will I [earnestly] remember You from the land of the Jordan [River] and the [summits of Mount] Hermon, from the little mountain Mizar.7[Roaring] deep calls to [roaring] deep at the thunder of Your waterspouts; all Your breakers and Your rolling waves have gone over me. 8Yet the Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.9I will say to God my Rock, Why have You forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 10As with a sword [crushing] in my bones, my enemies taunt and reproach me, while they say continually to me, where is your God? 11Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my countenance, and my God. (The Amplified Bible)
Psalm 43:1-5; 1JUDGE and vindicate me, O God; plead and defend my cause against an ungodly nation. O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! 2For you are the God of my strength [my Stronghold--in whom I take refuge]; why have you cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3O send out your light and your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.
4Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my exceeding joy; yes, with the lyre will I praise You, O God, my God! 5Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my [sad] countenance, and my God. (Amplified Bible)
Introduction: I don’t know about you but I get tired of sinning and having to ask for forgiveness. I also just plain get tired of myself. And sometimes I just feel down for no reason at all. Do you ever feel like that? While it’s certainly true that sin can mess up our bodies, there are times when we just feel blue.
My guess is that you experience some daily discouragement as well. Most of us go through some dry times and low seasons of life. Many years ago a young Midwestern lawyer suffered from such deep depression that his friends kept all knives and razors out of his reach. He questioned his life’s calling and just wanted to give up. This is what he wrote in his journal: “I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell…to remain as I am impossible.” Do you know who wrote those words? They were penned by President Abraham Lincoln.
Charles Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers from a previous century, shocked his listeners when he said this in a sermon: “I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to.”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression strikes about 17 million adults in the U.S. each year – more than cancer, AIDS, or heart disease. Half of all Americans say they, or one of their family members, have suffered from depression. The Journal of the American Medical Association has stated, “More suffering has resulted from depression than from any other single disease affecting mankind.” (N. Kline, 190:732-40).
Let me say at the beginning that I don’t know much about clinical depression. I do know that depression is a very complex condition that can be rooted in spiritual, emotional, mental, biological, or physiological causes, or a combination thereof. If you struggle with depression this morning you can end your depression this morning through the help of Jesus Christ. You can’t end depression by yourself and there is no shame in admitting that you need some assistance.